Episode 136


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Things go a little crazy this week as Desmond, Darryll, and William Shatner present a review of the Spanish time travel thriller Timecrimes... from the future! Then Desmond goes solo, furthering the foreign film theme with the brooding Finnish period piece Sauna. Songs included: "Time Got No Time to Wait for Me" by The Hellacopters, "Time" by Rebel Meets Rebel, "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" by Monster Magnet, and "Babylon's Burning" by Babylon Bombs. Check out www.darkhorroranthology.blogspot.com for Desmond's first published story! [ 1:04:41 || 29.8 MB ]

The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/podcasts/dreadmedia/episodes/dreadmedia_136.mp3

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Sorry, chaps, but I wasn't impressed. The craft in keeping everything straight, that I admire, but I was able to predict every step along the way. That's not to say I was way ahead of the movie, but ahead enough to be annoyed that nothing was a surprise.

Timecrimes also featured my biggest modern movie pet peeve: constant flashbacks. By showing us the clues in flashback form, filmmakers are limiting the number of times people will view their movie. For me at least, part of the fun of watching a mystery (or a movie with a plot like Timecrimes) is watching it several times to find the little hints along the way. Now I don't have to do that. It also makes me think the director believes his audience is too dumb to remember something that was said or shown earlier on, and I don't want to be treated like that.

Add to that the very bad dubbing, and, at best, I'd give the movie a three out of five. Really, if it weren't for me respecting the ability to juggle all of the plots, I'd give it a two.

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Well, you are obviously an alternate Master infiltrating from a different timeline than the one I visited.

Seriously, though. Really? Those flashbacks were pretty fleeting and I kinda' needed them, frankly.

I loved that our hero is a typical, lazy shlub who just happens to live next door to a time machine. He's not on a mission to save the world, he just wants his life back. I love that at first he's totally clueless to the subtleties of time travel. Then he's slavishly devoted to maintaining continuity. By his third iteration he's an old hand at this and begins molding the timeline to his own agenda. He's playing a game of chess with himself.

I love our scientist who is not the big brain behind the project, spewing techy exposition for the audiences sake, but a lowly technician fooling around with the machine over the weekend. I love that from his point of view Hector 3 is the first one to climb out of the machine which turns the narrative inside out.

I want to go back in time and see it again. again. again...

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You just described Marty McFly, Dan Vasser, and most of The Doctor's companions. They're all normal people who got yanked into a world of time travel, but became used to it (and even manipulated it) after a few trips. So Héctor was just another name to add to the list.

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Ha! touche' mon amis.

OK, The BACK TO THE FUTURE pictures are not time travel movies. They are fantasy films that utilize time travel as a story device to put our characters into zany situations. Fun, granted, but not true time travel stories.

I've never seen JOURNEYMAN so I can't comment but it seems to be a male version of show from a few years back called TRU CALLING (filmed in Vancouver). My wife liked that one.

The companions you speak of always had the good Doctor's guidance through the time stream; An experienced, fully trained, immortal Time Lord out to save the universe. Besides, DR. WHO is another one that uses time travel as a story device to set the characters in various settings and genres. It's not really about time travel.

TIME CRIMES is about time travel. It's entire structure is concerned with it. To the point that the individuality of the characters is sacrificed, somewhat, to the notion of predestination. Until, that is, Hector 3 begins to assert himself in the time stream. His character arc is fascinating in that I feel his character, at the end, is dramatically changed from the beginning of the picture as a direct result of time travel. It's the first time I've ever seen a film where a character used time travel as a personal improvement exercise. Come to think of it, it's the first time the main character is a wholly different person at the end. Literally.

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Sure, Back to the Future is fantastical, Doctor Who has The Doctor leading the companions around, and Journeyman wasn't dissimilar from Quantum Leap and (maybe) Tru Calling. But the point I was making is that the characters are normal people, like Héctor.

Also, I would argue that Back to the Future II is very much about time travel, what with old Biff using the DeLorean to alter his past. And the way the film intersects with Back to the Future is very much like Timecrimes.

You say Héctor used the time machine as a "personal improvement exercise," but I don't see that. He only became Héctor 3 because he thought he had to save his wife; he didn't do anything to make himself better. In fact, I'd say he's worse off than he was at the start of the film, because he's become a killer. (Or at least knowingly sent Clara back to be accidentally killed by Héctor 2.)

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Personal improvement exercise to him, I would say. It has corrupted him in the way that actually seeing yourself and attempting to manipulate a past version of yourself could only possibly do.

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By personal improvement exercise I am referring to the way he takes charge of his own life. He asserts himself to save his way of life. A life he wasn't able to appreciate before his adventures in time. It wasn't for comedic affect alone that Hector 1 was portrayed initially as kinda' lazy, passive and bored. He watches his wife living her life with a certain vigor while he sits in a chair and rather passively accepts a blow job. Later, after timidly approaching a naked girl in the woods and then running scared from an attacker he stumbles into the lab and follows orders, barely questioning the wisdom of climbing into a strange tank.

By the time Hector 3 arrives he is a man of action with a plan to save his wife that he carries out with purpose and determination. He issues the orders and forges his own destiny. By the time he takes his wife to hand and sits her down in that lawn chair to allow events to resolve there is a sense this is a new, improved Hector with a new appreciation for life. I think he experienced a certain amount of disgust after observing the rather cowardly behavior of his previous versions and how that behavior, even more than the time travel itself, resulted in the mess that ensued. Hector cleaned up his own mess with his new take charge attitude. There is a real sense that his adventures were a blessing, allowing Hector to, literally, see himself from another's POV.

Marty McFly got a new truck and cool parents.

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